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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My 100 Daughters Coloring Book is Finished

Here she is.  Isn't it gorgeous!

For the last six months, I’ve drawn 100 girls of India. 

Staring into the eyes of the girls in the beautiful photographs I’ve seen from Rising Star Outreach India, researching the cultures, customs and traditions of India, trying to understand the lives, joys and needs of these girls – it’s been a life-changing experience.  

I’m so thankful for people like Becky Douglas and Amy Humphrey, and others from Rising Star Outreach, who are working effortlessly to make a difference in the leprosy colonies.  I know their efforts are making a world of difference.

So, what is it I hope to accomplish by publishing a coloring book of girls from India? 

1)  I know my daughter Eden loves to color.  She gets lost in the art of coloring.  I remember as a little girl I would color for hours. I want the girls of India to have images of them so they can dream in their artwork.  I want them to know they are seen, loved and prayed for. I want them to feel strong and powerful in their culture.
      2) Not only do Eden and I want to raise enough money to sponsor 100 daughters of India, but we want to raise awareness of who these girls are, how they live and help others understand what they need. The coloring book has a three-page introduction of interesting facts about Rising Star, India and the culture of these girls.  I also share how Eden and I got involved in helping them and the poem we wrote called My 100 Daughters.

I hope you’ll purchase a coloring book for the little girls in your life. I hope you’ll purchase a coloring book for the adults in your life.  Coloring is such a wonderful form or therapy, no matter what your age. I was on a hike this weekend in Colorado and I met a woman on the trail.  We started talking about our lives and I told her I just published a coloring book.  She told me, “Adult coloring books are the #1 selling books on Amazon.”  I really feel in my heart with Rising Star’s help and through the sales of this coloring book, we can help sponsor 100 girls and more. 

Costs to sponsor: It costs a dollar a day to sponsor a child through Rising Star.  These funds pay for a child’s schooling, food, dental, medical, clothing and shelter.  It’s amazing how far these donations can stretch.  You can donate in many ways including purchasing the coloring book or sponsoring a child.  Either way, please know you are making a difference.

I received a letter a few months ago from one of the little girls we sponsor.  She said her favorite food is rice, her favorite color is red and her favorite game is skip. Oh, my heart just burst at her innocence.  I’m so thankful to know she’s being taken care of.

I’ve decided to continue drawing the girls of India in another My 100 Daughters coloring book.  This next series will be Mermaid, Princesses and Fairies.  

I will also be drawing My 100 Daughters travel throughout India.  Thank you for supporting this project.  There are over a billion people in India and Rising Star is willing and capable of helping so many children.  Click here and the link will send you to Amazon to order your coloring book, 
To watch this My 100 Daughters of India video on youtube, click here.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Former Food Addict Deals with Life Today

The last couple of days have been devastating.  My heart is breaking for those in Las Vegas who have lost their life and for those who are suffering. The images are like from a nightmare. Where do we go from here?

On Friday, it was suspected a little girl from Mesa was kidnapped.  Derek and I were horrified – the little girl was just a year older than our own daughter. Eden slept in our bed and I was up off and on worried sick.  What had happened to the girl?  Where was she?  What unspeakables was she experiencing?  She was found the next morning wondering the street by her school. We were all relived, but still, the night had been full of worry, prayers and tears. Many questions are left unanswered.

Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico, my prayers have been heartfelt for those who have been affected. There is so much going on in the world and at the moment, I’m not sure how to cope.

My baby hit the terrible two’s and I have a broken back-door screen, a red-stained area rug and countless sleepless nights as evidence.  He has been potty-trained for a few months, but for some reason has decided to unpotty-train himself. In the meantime, you may not see any long drawn out blog posts on my darling boy and don’t be surprised by the links on disciplining a two-year old that appear on my Facebook feed. I turned 45 last week and with a bit of help from Canyon and my other kids, I feel my age!

Basketball galore around here lately.  Chandler and Payson are in a church league and Mayer's jr. high team won the city championships.

The on/off switch on my computer is broken and I can’t turn my computer on. This is the final stray.  This is what finally broke me and now I’m dealing with the guilt of feeling shallow and selfish. With all that is going on in the world, I’m feeling sorry for myself because my computer is broken.  I just want to eat something with sugar, chocolate and butter.

Food – this has been my coping mechanism my entire life and now it’s not.  It can’t be.  I won’t allow it.  I’m fighting an emotional battle over here and if food was a weapon, I would need a license to register  the chocolate chip cookie dough I’m dying to eat.  In my home, chocolate chip cookie dough should be banned for life.  I’m pacing, looking for anything to be a distraction so I don’t go lethal on a bag of chocolate chips. I have sugar-free chocolate chips, but at this moment of crisis, they just won’t do.

In the past, I’ve turned to food.

Chocolate cookies

Frozen yogurt

Chips and salsa
These would do the trick about now.

Even with all my hard work to eat healthy and remain sugar-free, I’m still a food addict and I wonder if I always will be. Without the escape of food, I can’t seem to find much relief from the stress I’m under.  I know a lot of people use alcohol and drugs to cope with their own pain, whether it be emotional, physical or environmental.  It’s hard to feel and to remain present in a world that has so much evil and uncertainty.

Reef is home from school.  He suffered a heat stroke this weekend and was in the hospital Sunday night with an IV.  

Once he was hydrated, they sent us home, but he’s still very weak and sleeping a lot.  I’ve spent some precious time cuddled up with him.  This kid is a rock.  He’s very affectionate and always has a positive attitude.  I am experiencing a bit of cabin fever, another component that reminds me how much of an escape food can be.

Remember when my wood floors flooded a couple of months ago.  The contractor starts next week and the floors will be ripped out.  The damaged cabinets are going too. I spent most of yesterday cleaning out my kitchen cupboards and relocating food, dishes and such because we’ll be without use of a kitchen for a while.  My house is turned upside down. 

I have several friends and family members going through major life issues. I cry when they cry, I worry and feel deeply for their welfare.

I’m praying.  Reef and I read from the scriptures about Jesus and His unconditional love for the world.  I’m keeping busy the best I can, but those old habits of turning to food for comfort are knocking at the door today.  I just need to know everything is going to be all right, but I’m not sure if anyone can offer such words.  I will carry on the best I know how.  I will remain strong and not let food take over my life.  I will allow myself to feel whatever I need to feel.  I will not block it with eating excess amounts of food.  I will learn to be more empathetic to others. I will turn to God and pray for those who are dealing with issues of life and death. I am a food addict, but hopefully, not forever.

This is how I found Reef and Eden sleeping on Monday morning.  

Worried about the little girl being kidnapped and Reef just out of the hospital, these two are not letting each other go.  There were not yet aware off the tragedy in Las Vegas, but their display of sibling love was most touching.